Alai Osai Community Development Centre was functioning as usual except for the evening classes. The students of the evening classes were given a month vacation as in the case of State schools. The vacation started on 29th of July 2016.
Even though the vacation started, on the request of parents, classes were conducted from 1st August 2016 to 5th August 2016 as the children were on leave for a week for attending the Pooja at ”Kadaladiyamman” Kovil. This request was made by them at a Parents’ meeting.
Further, separate classes were conducted for 03 children who sat for the Grade 5 Scholarship exam held on 21st of August 2016. The children who attended classes were nourished with healthy snacks and milk tea. The teachers strived hard to bring up the children to appear for the exam. About 42 children attended the evening classes.
This is a highly competitive exam conducted by the Department of Examination of the Ministry of Education. It is optional for students to take it during the final year of primary school at the age of 9 – 10 yrs. This exam is held in only Tamil and Sinhala mediums. The parents and teachers exert pressure on children and guide them to get through the exam. This Grade five exam is usually held in August and a child is entitled to sit the exam only once.
Successful pass in this exam gives an opportunity for poor students to get a monthly bursary of Rs.500/- until they pass the G.C.E. (O/L) exam. The schools children themselves compete heavily with each other to exhibit their capabilities. With the intention of encouraging the students, the banks and private companies award the high-flyers at this exam with gifts.
The Psychosocial worker, daily (except on Saturdays and Sundays) made field visits. On 3rd of August 2016, the Health Unit of Batticaloa Base hospital, conducted an awareness programme on “Protection of Environment” for the Navalady Community. Our Psychosocial worker, on the request of Grama Sevaka Nilathari attended this programme.
Following that, the children of our Community Development Centre were provided with the knowledge on “Environmental Protection”. Further, they were given knowledge on the tools used by the Masons and Carpenters.
The fishermen of Navalady area got together and had a meeting on 4th of August 2016. They discussed about asking for compensation from Government, as they didn’t get sufficient income from fishing by casting net (Karavalai). Our Psychosocial worker was also invited for this meeting. Thereafter, on 5th August 2016, they all met the Grama Sevaka and handed over their appeal for compensation.